Chief Curator and Curator of Islamic Art
To contact Massumeh, please email Christina Elliott at ElliottC2@si.edu
Massumeh Farhad joined the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in 1995 as Associate Curator of Islamic Art. In 2004, she was appointed Chief Curator and Curator of Islamic Art. She is a specialist in the arts of the book from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Iran. Farhad has curated numerous exhibitions on the arts of the Islamic world at the Freer and Sackler, including Art of the Persian Courts (1996), Fountains of Light: The Nuhad Es-Said Collection of Metalwork (2000), Love and Yearning: Mystical and Moral Themes in Persian Painting (2003), Style and Status: Imperial Costumes from Ottoman Turkey (2005-6), The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in the Moscow Kremlin (2009), Falnama: The Book of Omens (2009-10), Roads of Arabia: History and Archaeology of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (2012), The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (2016), and most recently To Dye For: Ikats from Central Asia (2018).
She received her Ph.D. in Islamic Art History from Harvard University in 1987. Her publications include Slaves of the Shah: New Elites in Safavid Iran (2004), Falnama: The Book of Omens (2009), The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (2016), and A Collector’s Passion: Ezzat-Malek Soudavar and Persian Lacquer (2017).